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The Centre for Studies on Human Stress (CSHS) is dedicated to improving the physical and mental health of Canadians by empowering individuals with scientifically grounded information on the effects of stress on the brain and body.
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Principles of stress management

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Principles of stress management

How do we cope with stress? The million dollar question!

In reality, we have two options.

  • Eliminate stress from our lives: impossible
  • Learn to live with stress: possible

To manage stress, keep in mind these principles and laws.


  • There are no easy solutions
  • There are no universal solutions


A situation is only stressful if YOU interpret it as being stressful. For a situation to be stressful, you must feel it comprises Novelty, Unpredictability, a Threat to your Ego or leaves you with a poor Sense of Control, N.U.T.S.. ? This is why stress is an individual and highly personal phenomenon. What is novel to you may not be novel to you.

Everyone deals with stress in a different way. Some become withdrawn, others lash out, and others still, thrive on stress! This is why there are no universal stress-management techniques.

E.g.: While mediation or yoga can work for some, for others, they would amount to torture and induce even more stress! We each have to find our own personalized way to deal with stress.

Your stress response system may not know that we are in 2010 and still thinks we are hunting mammoths. It may not know the difference between a mammoth and a traffic jam. It secretes the same stress hormones, while you are stuck in traffic or being chased by an aggressive bear, which have the same effect on your mind and body.